PC gaming tablets are doomed to failure

PC tablet gaming systems are dead before they even come to life.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Over at CES 2012 in Las Vagas, PC gaming accessory maker Razer (the folks behind the $2,800 Blade gaming notebook) as unveiled a concept tablet that it claims will bring PC gaming to tablets.

See also: CES 2012: ZDNet’s news and product coverage | CES 2012: CNET’s news and product coverage

Called Project Fiona, the system comprises of a 10.1-inch tablet complete with a pair of integrated gaming controllers. The tablet itself will feature a Core i7 'Ivy Bridge' processor, multi-touch and accelerometer support, the audio will be THX-certified, there will be force-feedback and, according to CNet, it will run Windows 9 and have an Android overlay.

It looks pretty funky too:

It's expected that the whole package will cost under $1,000.

OK, so why is this doomed to failure? Let's me give you some of the most obvious reasons off the top of my head:

  • Tablet make pretty awful gaming platforms. While it's true that fingers make for a pretty accurate pointing device, on a flat screen with no tactile feedback they are truly awful.
  • Now, you might think that those side handles mitigate any drawbacks that the touch interface has when it comes to gaming. They don't. Would you buy an accessory like that to attach to your PC when you are gaming?
  • PC games are primarily designed to be driven by a keyboard and mouse, both of which are tactile, precision tools. The best that gamepads have to offer are nowhere near as accurate (which is why, for example, console first person shooters feature auto-aim).
  • $1,000 is a lot to put down on what is essentially an experimental platform.
  • The best gaming experience on a tablet is when the games are optimized for tablet usage.
  • Don't hear much about the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play/PlayStation Phone now, do we ...
  • The tablet market is highly competitive and dominated by a single massive well-known brand (iPad).

Bottom line, PC tablet gaming systems are dead before they even come to life.


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